Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Who will take Rennie’s reins?

Dave Rennie
Glasgow Head Coach Dave Rennie - pic © ALASTAIR ROSS | Novantae Photography

After exiting Rugby World Cup 2019 at the quarter-final stage, following their heavy defeat to England, Michael Cheika’s turbulent tenure as head coach of the Wallabies is over.

Rugby Australia head honcho Raelene Castle has confirmed that they already have a list of names for the succession, and it’s been widely reported, from as early as March this year, that the name at the top of that list is Glasgow Warriors’ Dave Rennie.

Former SRU Director of Rugby Scott Johnson now holds the same position at Rugby Australia, and given his role in bringing Rennie to Glasgow, it’s clear that Johnson holds Rennie in high regard. And he’s not the only one.

The Kiwi may have a contract to stay at Scotstoun until the end of the current season, but on more than one occasion has inferred that Mrs Rennie finds it difficult to be so far away from the rest of the family back in New Zealand.

Whether it’s sooner rather than later, it seems we’re soon to see the back of Dave’s Rennie-gades. His brand of high-risk, high-reward, rugby made him the natural progression from Gregor Townsend, but who could potentially take over? Our Cammy put a poll out on Twitter with the following four suggestions:

Mike Blair

Spent a season as player-coach at Glasgow in 15/16, before becoming assistant coach at Warriors the following season. Has been working with Scotland, initially on a part-time basis, under Townsend as skills coach, before moving full-time with the national side just a few months ago.

Played 85 times for Scotland, World Rugby Player of the Year nominee in 2008, a touring Lion of the 2009 series; as a player there’s no doubting his pedigree but has no experience as a head coach. Mind you, either did a certain Mr Townsend. Would be a gamble, and one of the cheaper options, which may leave supporters feeling short-changed.

Jason O’Halloran

Brought in by the SRU to assist Vern Cotter as backs shortly after RWC 2015, he then shifted west to join compatriot Rennie once Townsend had taken control of the national side.   

He had the Scottish backline purring like a kitten with a bucketful of catnip, but with Townsend also leading Scottish attacks, may have been removed so as not to proverbially spoil the broth.

Has experience of being head coach back in NZ of the Manawatu Turbos in the provincial Mitre Cup competition. Quite famously once said he considered Scottish Rugby to be 20 years behind New Zealand in respect of sports psychology, so is certainly no shrinking violet. Could be a very shrewd appointment.

Jim Mallinder

Has only just joined the SRU as Performance Director, so you would think he’d be given more time in that role before any permanent shift. However, if Rugby Australia come knocking early for Rennie and no other suitable candidate is available at the time, could potentially do the job on an interim basis.

Has by far the most experience of the candidates from this shortlist, having been head coach at Sale Sharks, England Saxons and a 10-year spell at Northampton Saints which included a Premiership title, 2 European Challenge Cups and an appearance in the Heineken Cup final.

Ben Ryan

Or Ratu Peni Rayani Latianara, to his Fijian mates. Won back-to-back Sevens World Series titles and Olympic gold with the Flying Fijians, which also earned him a Companion of the Order of Fiji award, and his face on a 50c coin. In terms of accolades, hard to top.

An outspoken, rugby purist, he can often be found venting his dismay about the state of the breakdown and what he views as shoddy treatment of tier-2 nations. Hasn’t been a head coach of XVs at the highest level though.

Currently employed by the SRU as a consultant, conducting a review into the performance department, but would his fondness for speaking his mind sit well with those on high?

The outsiders

A handful of other names were suggested by respondents:

Stuart Lancaster was popular, but he seems quite content with his coaching role at Leinster. After his nightmarish stint in charge of England, does he want to go back to being the figure-head?

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph will not be short of suitors considering how well the Brave Blossoms have performed at RWC 2019, and will have added an extra couple of quid to his remuneration package, so that probably rules him out.

Pat Lam of Bristol Bears was an interesting shout but seeing as he has an open chequebook and a project he wants to see through, would take some convincing.

We could do a swapsies with the Wallabies, and have Michael Cheika, who did tremendously well at Pro14 foes Leinster. Just remind me to pack a stab-proof vest for press conferences.

And, of course, just as night follows day, came the howls of “Bring back Vern!”

So, what say you, dear readers? Who do you think is best placed to carry on the work, and hopefully turn contenders back into champions?

150 Responses

  1. I think its quite telling Ben Ryan hasn’t had another coaching job since he left Fiji.

    Dont tell me he’s just fussy.

    1. Lancaster would be good option. Saw in press that all travelling getting to him. Think he lives in North of England.

    2. Townsend should go back to Glasgow. I see Hogg is backing GT as Scotland coach, on what authority? Hogg had an awful world cup.
      The SRU can’t go on ignoring the elephant in the room , GT is the laughing stock , as to his idea that he’s invented a new brand of rugby. Get real and get him out NOW while he has a job to go to.

      1. I doubt that would be popular at Glasgow either, time moves on. Glasgow must develop it’s forwards, not really Toonie’s thing. Hogg just needs to look forward just now and stop talking to people badgering him for interviews.

  2. Apparently Sydney Morning Herald has Matt Taylor moving with Rennie to Australia. I wouldn’t be too disappointed in that; our defence is often atrocious.

    1. Taylor…they can have him. We should put together a fund to pay for his plane ticket!
      Not sure why Aus , with an equally porous defense , wants a coach who has done a poor job with us.

      Lancaster might be an option to replace Townsend based on his most recent coaching… but he had a poor record as England coach..maybe better as a club coach…doubt he’d go from arguably the best club side in pro14 to a team less than that.

      Cheika? you’ve got to be kidding.

      A Fiji 7s coach?….No thanks!!….7s is not 15s. Fiji oppitomize the unbalanced playing style that we need to change.

      For me its bring back Vern with O’Halloran
      for Scotland. A good combo…and wouldn’t have to start the process again of figuring out our psyche and playing style.If not them , a combo of similar type and stature.
      GT can go back to Glasgow where he should have stayed in the 1st place and proven himself more.

      1. Lancaster didn’t have a poor record for England. I think up to press he lost less games than Eddie Jones. He lost one match in each of the four Six Nations he coached. In some of them the other team who won the tournament won the same number as he did.

        He didn’t win the big games and in reality it was very small margins. Had that line-out against Wales worked for him he could have been in exactly the position Jones is now. They’ve have beaten us at Twickenham back then and then beat Argentina.

        Lancaster was vilified for very small errors and rub of the green essentially. He is showing his worth and ability now at Leinster.

      2. Lancaster turned Leinster around. When he came on board as assistant coach they were in a poor position but that all changed very quickly

  3. I think someone like Bryan Redpath or Shaun Edward’s would make a good appointment and really shake Glasgow out of our their comfort zone

    1. Good call!

      And either O’Hal stays with Glas or becomes Scotland coach with a new defense coach.

    2. I thought Basil had given up rugby coaching? Not sure he is the future.

      Someone like Edwards would be good to have in the Scotland set-up but I think he’s looking elsewhere. There must be another Scottish enforcer out there who can organize a defense and get everyone fired up?

      What is Richie Gray up to these days?

      1. As I understand it Richie Gray is a breakdown specialist, runs a successful training equipment business and has coaching consultancy contracts some of which are with NFL teams in the US.
        You can imagine the kind of money they pay.
        Too specialised and too many other things going on.

      2. You’re right. That’s where he is at the moment.
        He’s done all sorts though – Springboks, Scotland, NFL teams (Miami Dolphins I think).

        One thing he’s never done is Head Coach of a big team…….

      3. We became better at the breakdown when he was used as a consultant…then when he wasn’t we fell behind again.
        He doesn’t seem that interested in head coach positions. He has his finger(s) in a lot of pies…without focusing on any one.
        He’s an effective communicator though and understands contact situations very well.
        Im not sure what his level of overall coaching is though…which may be the reason he hasn’t been a head coach already.
        I think he would be good to try out as a forwards coach…then see how he fares.

  4. The first name that came to mind was Pat Lam, but as Iain says , he has one of the best jobs in the Premiership right now. Lancaster was another Toonie, too much too quick, however he may be capable and willing to take the role at Glasgow. I believe , at one time, he was well thought of by some at EH12. Not sure I would put cash on it though. I heard Sean Edwards was already spoken for.

  5. Jake White for the Scotland job……Townsend will not go back to Glasgow. Taylor can go anywhere as long as its not in Scotland.Shaun Edwards is going to France.

  6. I’d be surprised if it’s not O’Halloran. I think the SRU prefer to promote internally and when they don’t and bring in someone external they’ll have had a future successor within the set up as well.

  7. I’d have though Jason OH would be likely to follow Rennie but he was Verns man so I dont know what their relationship is like. If he stays the job is his I’d say.

    1. Also…Id think O’Hal unlikely to move just to assist again. Regardless of his relationship with Rennie.
      If he moves it would surely be to become a head coach of either club or national side.

  8. Maybe Mallinder will use premiership connections to find a coach. I’d be happy with someone like Dean Richards but assume he is staying put as DoR despite Newcastle’s relegation.

    1. I dont see Dean Richards being a good fit for Glasgow. It its going to be someone from the prem then it will be a promising assistant. Glasgow wont attract top coaches like McCall away and the middle-bottom have dubious coaching credibility, Hooper, Solomons, Murphy etc. Sanderson is clearly waiting for the Sarries job but perhaps? Maybe a Chief? Mike Ford is in some random assistant role at Tigers but you have to expect he’ll be in charge by the turn of the year. Jason O H is the logical and possibly best man for the job. it has the added benefit of a progression line for replacing Toony post 2023

  9. I’d be sad to see Rennie go. I think he’s been really good at bringing on youngsters and I like his brand of rugby. I don’t want to see Glasgow change their shape much so perhaps O’Halloran is the man. However, across the Scottish set up we need to improve our defense, strengthen our mentality and onfield decision making and take the forwards to the next level so perhaps we need a shake up in coaching across the board.

    1. Like you say…the strengths Rennie brought were positive.
      However, its what he didn’t bring that is what we truly need.
      We need to be much better organized and abrasive defensively and have a better understanding of tactics.
      I think we need a better balance in the coaching setups at both club and national level.
      Strong attack minded coach coupled with strong defense minded…in whatever head/assist format.

      for eg OHal would have been better placed with a Cockerill than a Rennie..imo. The players and the coaches develop better I think.

  10. I see Scott Wisemantel is being mentioned for the Australia job all be it at long odds. He’s currently working as an attack consultant for England but would likely need a successful head coach job before stepping up to international level. Maybe Glasgow could be that step if Rennie and O’Halloran move. Much of the choice will be made by Mallinder so I wouldn’t be surprised if its a left field suggestion coming from the English set up.

    1. It would be unrealistic to expect someone with a proven track record as an international head coach to be interested in the Glasgow job, unless as a short term stepping stone back into the international game, or as a means to restore a reputation. The post-RWC churn in coaches will provide opportunities for the more progressive club coaches to move up to the international game.
      The recent success of Glasgow means that, unlike Edinburgh pre-Cockers, there is limited potential to improve the team, and SRU funding means that higher quality players cannot be bought in.
      It is unfortunate that Mallinder is not long in the door but one would like to think that his predecessor left a list of potential candidates for the key coaching roles at the international side plus Edinburgh & Glasgow, given the differing requirements of each team.
      Rennie, if offered the Australia job, must surely accept it.
      Warriors supporters will have their own views as to what their team needs in terms of a head coach, but the most likely option would be an experienced assistant coach with a similar philosophy to Rennie stepping up.

      1. If a coach had a proven international track record…its unlikely they would be sacked in the first place..or be available.
        There is a reason coaches with experience are available…its because they didn’t work out with their previous. Thats not to say that sometimes they just weren’t the right fit ..and could be successful somewhere else…if its a consistent pattern thanks!

        Regarding lack of funding for signing external players, its a tough one…Scotland only have 2 teams…2 teams to source and develop talent for the national side.
        More focus should probably go towards that development than bringing in mercenary players.

        I 100% doubt S Johnson would leave a list of coaches he rated highly .Thats something he would have held onto for his own benefit and Australias.

  11. Bring back Vern (to Glasgow).

    O’Halloran is the obvious choice and provides good continuity.
    Outsiders not yet mentioned maybe Carl Hogg , Dean Ryan and Warren Gatland.

    1. Hogg and Ryan – not on your nelly. Had a bellyful of both at Worcester and both absolute shoite . I wouldn’t trust Ryan an inch. 5 year plan at Worcester my arse. Buggered off after 3 when his English chums came a calling with a cushy number. Please. A snake more honourable. Hogg just useless.

  12. As part of the hopeful shake-up, I really hope we free up a decent budget to get in some permanent sports psychologists at the top of their profession. I say that as someone who has long been somewhat dubious about their need, but pretty much every top team or individual in any sport has them, as do our competitors. I think we have the raw materials, but in some cases lack focus, or belief, or even vision of how we are going to get across the line and perform at a higher level.

    1. Yes …was thinking that a while back.
      No idea why we dont already….if any team needs one we do. Our ability to sustain focus is woeful. We are like a team that epitomizes ADD.

      1. Have not heard of him. I read that they used a sports psych at one stage ..but it seemed like it was a one or two session thing…and not a perm
        If there is a perm sports psych, Id say then we should be looking at another because it hasn’t worked out thus far.

      2. My understanding is that Hughes consults but isn’t perm which may be the issue. He’s a pretty well regarded thought leader on team psychology.

        I heard a rumour that it was his presence that helped the team thinking re-focus in Twickenham last year but that he wasn’t in Japan for the Ireland game. May just be a rumour but could explain the fact that we didn’t ‘show up’.

        He’s also highly amusing to follow on twitter @liquidthinker.

  13. Shaun Wane has been bouncing around the SRU in one ill-defined role or another for a while now perhaps he’s being lined up? I’d like to see O’halloran get the shout.

    1. I’ve listened to Wane on a few Rugby League podcasts recently and he is keen to get back into coaching full time, the NRL is his No.1 choice. He currently does 2 days a week as performance director with our youth teams, seems a huge waste of his talents unless we will reap the benefits in the future. I would love to see him as Scotland defence coach at least, not sure if he could work under anyone though. I think he could be great with the senior team in whatever capacity especially now after a poor world cup

    1. Yes.I dont think thats such a left field… Saracens coaching set up is excellent. May well be ready for a step up in his coaching career.
      He’s the type we should be looking at tho.

  14. Michael Cheika ? achieved a lot with Waratahs & coaches an attractive style of play, done stuff with Leinster i think also

    1. Cheika rumored for DOR at Montpellier in Midi Olympique…which would mean BVC is looking for a job.

      1. God I would love Cheika to go to Toulon. Just for the one week he would last it would be amazing. It would also fuel a career of corporate hospitality stories. Cheika and Boudjellal.

      2. BVC is out of contract this season.
        The trouble is I expect there’s be plenty of competition for his signature and giving him a high profile job in Scottish rugby might be perceived as some kind of admittance we shouldn’t have let him go in the first place and would lead to calls from fans for him to swap seats with Toonie any time Scotland had a poor game.

        He’d also cost a bit.

        On the plus fans would like it and the partnership with O’Halloran is established. He’d come with an understanding of Scottish rugby and knowledge of some of the players.
        He is also known to have enjoyed Scotland.

        I don’t think it’s completely outlandish.
        If Rennie goes you’d want to replace him with a coach of similar calibre and BVC is that.

        Rennie has not gone yet though!!!

      3. Wouldn’t amount to much tho Rennie’s contract only runs another 6 months and not aware of any ext.

      4. …its obvious Rennie got a heads up from Johnson that the head coach of Aus would be up for grabs before and after the RWC and that he wanted him in the spot. Aus rugby made the call to stick with Cheika for the duration of the RWC…for continuity reasons.
        Rennie signed a 1 year knowing he was offski to Aus at the end of it. He’s gone…it’ll be announced in the next few weeks..I think. The cats already been let out the bag in OZ press. This stuff was decided ages ago..prob as soon as Johnson got his butt on the seat…I reckon.

      5. yes correct…after he signed the 1 year extension that flows into the Aus position.
        He’ll be there in time for the Aus summer tour and championship.

  15. I think continuity is more important for Glasgow than it was for Edinburgh when they appointed Cockers.
    Glasgow have developed a style of play and culture which has taken them to multiple plays offs, a title, a final and a couple of 2nd rounds in the Champions Cup whereas Edinburgh were failing.

    We needs someone who understands them and won’t drastically try to change the way they play, so unless you can get an out of contract Vern Cotter then the obvious choice is O’Halloran.

    We don’t know if Rennie is going yet though. Unlike some I think he’s a real asset for Scottish rugby. We don’t want him to go if we can keep him.

    He knows what he’s doing and he also has strong family links to the Glasgow area and to Scotland, which I think is always a bonus.

  16. We are all expecting a marquee signing with pedigree but I wouldn’t be surprised or opposed to promotion from within.
    What’s wrong with Kenny Murray. Has done his apprenticeship with Cartha Q.P and Ayr before understudying Gregor and Rennie these past 5 years.

      1. Bryan Redpath has taken work outside Rugby apparently , I thought he had a decent run with Gloucester but that is a while ago now. I was disappointed as he was a Scot doing well IMO south of the border.

    1. I think the problem when signing a lesser known name from within the ranks…is that they are generally given less time to improve things…people seem to have more patience with a bigger name…logically you would think the opposite but doesn’t seem to be what happens.

    2. Was it not Kenny Murray that was acting head coach when Rennie was back in NZ for a family wedding?

      If Rennie feels he’s better suited to the job than O’Halloran then maybe its worth SRU and GW paying some heed to that?

  17. Vern Cotter was settled in Scotland, however enough time has passed and he may have other personal priorities. I cannot see us going back to the future, and what would be his next step , a job he used to do !. I never saw Rennie as staying long , has he done enough to show progress ?

    1. I think he has probably overachieved with this Glasgow side to be honest, the forwards are pretty average overall.

      He has been outstanding with the youth also.

  18. I think an internal appointment is best. However I am wondering how the next appointment at Glasgow will impact Cockerill ? What would his next move be if we bring in a renown coach with bigger ambitions. He may see it as blocking his path to International coaching and create some instability at the other end of the M8.

    1. What makes you think Cockerill wants to coach Scotland and more to the point, why would that be a good appointment?

      1. Never said it was or he did, though it was implied. He does work for the SRU and if he wants to remain in coaching with the SRU, a step up with the SRU would be the natural progression. He may not want that Hence the question ! OK But , the replacement for Rennie will tell us something about Edinburgh IMO.

      2. The Embra job is just another head coach role for Cockerill, just because his employers are also responsible for the national coach role doesn’t suggest that’s his only route to job progression.

      3. Stu : I never said that either , you are losing your touch. There are other coaching roles inside and outside the SRU however progression, by which I mean promotion , there is only one IMO.

      4. I never said that either. There are other coaching jobs outside of the SRU and even within however by progression I mean promotion. I am not sure what he would gain from other roles internally however I will watch and learn.

  19. John Dalziel cant be far away from being a head coach at club or sen international level.
    Was good with the U20s…and also learned under Rennie.

      1.….has managed various format rugby 7s and 15s and through the age grades…and is a Scottish coach.

    1. You think Glasgow should go from a head coach who will be the next head coach of Aus to a novice 4 months into his first job?

      1. No..I didn’t say that…. I suggested that it wont be long before he is in the conversation as a head coach at senior level. He is making quick progress as a coach and is accumulating good range experience.

  20. One thing highlighted here is just how little Scottish coaching talent has experience at a level where it could step up to fill the role.

    Besides Toonie, Carl Hogg is the only Scot I can think of who has been in charge of a top division rugby team and is still actively coaching.

    It’s still not clear if Rennie is going but has the speculation unearthed a bit of a problem?

    I think it’s too much to go from coaching a premiership side to a successful pro side and most of the assistant coaches at pro sides are either fulfilling their first role at an elite pro team level or are not Scots.

    Is this something the Super 6 might help?


    1. Murray is ready to step up and IMO Callum McCrae is not far from it either. A head coach role is a major responsibility – but we are always going to struggle due to the fact we have two sides.

      The S6 is definitely there to improve the situation with coaches as much as players. They after all are the only ones earning a decent salary out of it.

      1. I would agree with that Stu2, i think Murrays actually been hindered at Edinburgh over past 2 seasons with the lack of game time, he had some decent performances for Scotland at a very young age when we had the prop injury crisis.

        He is certainly one i would be disappointed in if he does not start becoming a regular for his club this season & the WC squad over the next couple years.

      2. Yes it’s a problem. The pro teans and especially glasgow are nearly as important as the national side so need an experienced coach.
        If we had a side more like connacht or the dragons then someone like Kenny murray could take that job as a next step.

  21. Apologies for off topic but it would be good to hear opinion. The more WC games I watch, the more sympathy I have for the Aussies in one of the early games who said that they no longer understood how the rules of the game were being applied. Offside – occassionaly. High tackle – inconsistent. Ruck offences – to numerous to mention. (Good to see the third man off feet at ruck penalised).

    1. The refereeing has been hugely inconsistent. Slade’s try-saving tackle has been penalised by other ref’s, for example.

    2. Fully agree. I keep seeing the attack side going into the side of the ruck or blocking the side and nothing is done. Need to apply law to both sides

    1. Totally agree, England were seriously impressive; the aggression, energy and speed in defence really showed what we are missing on. Whoever coaches the pro teams or the National one could do well to study that game. Can we poach England’s coaching set up?!?

      1. Yeah they played very well…combined with the worst performance Ive ever seen from an AB team.

  22. If this is an example of a Rennie coached team (which it is ) against a piss poor Dragons team, with a no bad Glasgow team……. then are/will “we” too disappointed if the Rennie family move to NSW?

  23. Dragons – Glasgow is absolutely dire, made worse by the appalling premsports stream? I have rural wifi, but no other platforms are this bad. 5 secs, hang, 5 secs, hang, repeat 10 times and then freeze. Just put that on a perpetual roll as hands in the ruck. Going to cancel the contract because this is a waste of time. Not had one decent feed this season. Surely can’t be doing the league any good in terms of viewers.

  24. Matto, I’m in South Tyneside and the feed is fine. You seem to be lucky to miss this horrible Glasgow performance……………..

    1. Numerous kickable penalties turned down with calamitous results… terrible game management. Offloading looked so panicked as well…

  25. Yeah, the ARU are very much welcome to Rennie. He’s obviously already signed and his mind is there. Dreadful opening to the season.

  26. Huw Jones starting on the bench again – Rennie cant leave quick enough for him.

    What an appalling result today.

    1. It’s so weird. It’s not based on on pitch performances. Rennie can f right off to Australia, soon.

  27. Huw Jones – form is temporary class is permanent. He is without question a different class from the whole hearted but small and limited Grigg. I really like Steyn, he is big, strong, straightens the line & simply not a wing. You have to find a way to get these boys playing 12,13,15

    1. Couldn’t agree more John.

      I understand coaches have favourites, but Jones is more important to Scotland than Rennie ever will be.

  28. Rennie is a proper con-man.

    Huw Jones could’ve had his feet up in a Yokohama hotel eating sushi right now and with a World Cup final to prepare for. Instead he’s sat on the bench of a Glasgow B team in damp, wet South Wales with Nick Greggs again taking his place.

    Pass marks for Dobie, Jones and Harley who should be back in the test team. The rest mince

    1. The way we have treated Huw Jones is shameful. We really are easily deluded. Rennie was never committed, Townsend was always Walter Mitty, Glasgow was never the right club for Jones. Someone give him a contract in the Premiership anywhere but Exeter and he will flourish once again.

  29. I have to say whilst Rennie has been in charge I have slowly moved over to supporting Edinburgh more than Glasgow. Glasgow under him have always played with a far too flat line causing stupid dropped balls of speculitve offloads. Frankly Townsend had Glasgow playing a better structured yet more enjoyable rugby (Also a type of Rugby that was able to win thing). I have no personal dislike of Rennie (He seems a good guy), I just dislike what he has done at Glasgow.

  30. Also Mark Bennett had another stonking performance tonight (Edinburgh did as a whole). So great to see. Funny to think that our centers for the next few years and the last few years might be significantly better than what we took to the WC.

  31. Easy just! I felt for Sam Johnson mind he looked massively frustrated you could see that in the Japan game where he knew nothing was on but had to run as he hadn’t had much chance previously. With the way Bennett and Scott are playing could Johnson be in the shadows for the 6 nations?

    1. Think Bennett has looked far more impressive than Scott…but Scotland have had no one really stepping up at centre for a while…its anyones at the mo…same as the coaching staff really.
      But a fit and healthy Bennett is a cracking player.
      Will be interesting to see how the chips fall after the RWC is complete.

      1. …just to add ..think Ally Miller is beginning to get his act together. Looks a different player…

      2. Come on Ruggers , ‘Scotland have had no one stepping up at centre for a while’ ! This blog has been soiled by the comments about Centre combinations.

        Jones, Hutch and Johnston on merit, Taylor gets the nod from Toonie despite having limited match time in 2 years , not to mention this prodigy, who usurped them all , Chris Harris, a man who has so much potential that only a true genius like Toonie can see it.

  32. The last world cup year (2015/16) the teams that qualified for the playoffs lost a maximum of 7 games. There is going to be loads of drama for Glasgow fans this season.

  33. Yes Embra! Lovely show against the Scarlets. Scott and Bennett have us absolutely purring.

    Have to go full-strength in Treviso next week; Benetton will be the favourites for that game, justifiably. They’ll be fielding a full-strength team, injuries excepted. Willemse’s earned a start over Rambo who can give us power off the bench. I’d give Sau the #23 shirt with Graham back in the fold. Think he can cover centre. Crosbie and Miller have really impressed, but Ritchie and Bradbury go straight back in, Nel too. Berghan and Hickey on the bench.

    Warriors should pick up with their internationals back. Hornito and Hastings should give them added nous and bite. I think Brandon Thomson needs a second playmaker outside him, like Pete Horne. Sam Johnson’s passing is great and, if he can develop a little bit of a kicking game, he’ll be the first name on the teamsheet for Warriors in the backs. No idea who they place outside him, mind. Might be wisest to play Jones #13 and Steyn #14. Matawalu’s returned, and Seymour still to come in. Interesting times.

    1. Look on the bright side if England win the WC, Scotland can claim they are the true No. 1 after the last two years.

  34. Look on the bright side if England win the WC, Scotland can claim they are the true No. 1 after the last two years.

    1. Sadly , that’s the kind of stuff that holds us back , even when said in jest.

      3 years ago we gave wales a pasting at murrayfield , made jake ball , I particularly remember having a torrid time –

      He had however gone away and worked on his game to be a much better player , for all the plaudits I don’t see Johnny Gray getting better , we saw 5 mins and an offload against Japan.
      Even when sent to the bench this year I didn’t see a chastening and a desire to do more and do it better , more running around on the pitch , may be but he needs to find more than that

      And , don’t think I,m singling Johnny out just that the jake ball comparison comparison was top of mind today there are others in the squad who need to review their desire to do the more that is needed if we are to arrest our decline

      Sad facts , but if we paperover the cracks or accept the mediocrity , then it won’t progress

  35. Find it absolutely hilarious how quickly people turn on Rennie after the dragons result. He took us to a pro14 final and the consensus seemed to be that his departure to Australia would be a real loss…now we have people commenting the following drivel in the space of a week.

    ‘Aus can have Rennie.. he just aint that good. Overated.’

    ‘Yeah, the ARU are very much welcome to Rennie.’

    ‘Rennie cant leave quick enough’

    ‘Rennie can f right off to Australia’

    ‘Jones is more important to Scotland than Rennie ever will be’

    ‘Rennie is a proper con-man’

    …You couldn’t be more fickle/capricious if you tried.

    You have to keep in mind Dragons are almost full strength during the international windows as they’ve got hardly any international call-ups. This is the only time they are dangerous.

    Glasgow in contrast are missing the following players.

    Brown, Turner, Fagerson, Halanukanuka, Cummings, Gray, Swinson, Wilson, Horne, Price, Hastings, Johnson, Horne, Seymour, DTH

    1. I’d like to clarify that i’m still disappointed with Glasgow’s loss…but it’s not the disaster people think it is.

    2. They have players resting and Rennie coached sides have started slowly before or dipped in form then come good.
      I don’t know why he’s not picking Jones more.

      1. Are you saying that is Rennie’s tactic ? Make ourselves look injured . Lull the opposition into a false sense of security ? build pressure on ourselves for the remainder of the season.

      2. No just saying people are writing him off prematurely.
        I do not understand the management of Huw Jones however.
        Jones needs to play his way back to form for Scotland’s sake and Glasgow is supposed to develop players for Scotland.
        I don’t understand how that happens on the bench or not even picked.

      3. Only 2 sides have scored less points than Glasgow. Some seriously optimistic people in here.

    3. You left out the key point I was making when you quoted me: “…his mind is already there”. Look at how we performed during last year’s AIs – when we also lose tons of players – and compare that to the opening games of this season. Last season we smashed Ospreys, Blues and Scarlets, and had a victory stolen from us at Munster, whereas this year we’ve been smashed by Cheetahs, Scarlets and Dragons, and struggled to a home victory over Blues. I still think losing Rennie is a shame and that we were getting somewhere, but we’ve already lost him. Let’s not have a repeat of Toonie’s lacklustre final year. And let’s not leave players who are obviously struggling on the pitch until the match is lost. And let’s not keep starting with one of our best players available on the bench.

      1. You raise some decent points so fair enough. I didn’t take note of who was saying what so bundled them together. It’s more a trend I’ve noticed on the blog where people’s opinions of how good a coach is swings wildly form week to week.

      2. That’s fair, and people do (fuelled by take down pieces from the likes of Tom English), I just wanted to distinguish myself from those types! I still think he’s an excellent coach, but we’re four rounds into the season and we’re two games shy of the total number of games we lost last season, and the only ‘good’ team we’ve played is Cheetahs! If he arrests this and makes the play-offs, I’ll be delighted, but a coach of his calibre shouldn’t be in this position in the first place.

    4. The reaction isnt just on the back of that result tho…its
      treatment of players
      sense of regression of both general play and individuals.
      Rennie will be leaving anyway he and his missus wants to be closer to his family…whether the Aus spec is true or not..he openly said 1 year is the max extension he would sign for.
      S Johnsons coach selections have been hit or miss…as they will be for Aus. Already facing criticism in OZ for jumping the gun in determining a coach.. and that they are not an Aussie.
      NZ rugby has its own struggles ..youth participation is down..and now they didn’t win another RWC..which is seen as a failure there. The England match highlighted the cracks in their game. The way they were dominated and looked like deer in headlights took their world perception down a peg or 2. Their coaches perhaps are indeed overrated and overgeneralised..some are great im sure…some are no better than decent coaches in the NH..and I think Rennie’s coaching performance has backed that thought up…some good stuff …some woeful stuff.
      He won’t be missed I think..Glasgow can do better.

  36. Well done Edinburgh.

    Miller looks to have stepped up and has a knack of knowing when and were to hit the line and made a few breaks and some great off-loads. Also contributed well in the line-out.

    Scott and especially Bennett looking great in the centre. Its been done to death but the centre options are very interesting now…we have options…plenty of them…but options count for nothing when no-one is putting their hand up to make the jersey theirs.

    12: Johnson, Scott, Horne, Taylor, Dunbar, McDowell
    13: Hutchinson, Bennett, Harris, Jones, Steyn, Grigg

    Some of these guys are clearly not in the frame atm…yet no one has cemented a place. The next 3 months of club rugby will be very interesting and a good run of form from any of them will give Toonie plenty to consider.

    Also amazing that every player I listed is fit…not sure this has ever happened or ever will again.

    1. Yes. Impressed with Cockerill. He has moved away from his tight game style to a more expansive style…prob reluctantly ..but he has all the same. Much more balance to the team now. He has been helped with the return to form and fitness of some key players.
      His man management is far far superior to Rennie’s. A Miller’s game is a good example of that I think..was going nowhere fast…an is now beginning to look a player.. along with Scott and Bennett seemingly having a new lease of life.
      At least he went the right way about building a good side…focus on getting defense right 1st……then on attack. Take note GT!.
      Glasgow have a really average looking set of forwards and a lack forward know how…they often look a shambles because of that.

    2. Lang and Johnstone look better options than some listed.

      On form it’s Jones then Bennett at 13. At 12 Dunbar or Taylor or Johnson.

      Stunning that the best individuals in their positions – Dunbar and Jones were both casualties of the Rennie era. We talk about Jones but Dunbar is 29 and should be mad. For McDowell, Grigg and Steyn!

      Still a joke they weren’t at this World Cup. But equally dumb that Ritchie Gray was not.

      Also were there any tactics against Ireland and Japan, and why did we get smashed so badly first half at Twickenham, and why when on that topic were there allowed to be open disputes with our most important player and his father.

      And most of all where is the defence and attitude? The problem is when they ship one try it’s gonna be three.

      Are any of these things actually going to be fixed by management admitting their mistakes, and bringing players back from the cold??

      Or do Glasgow and Scotland continue their downward trajectory.

      When exactly is the post mortem? If crashing out the World Cup to Japan after having pants pulled down by Ireland wasn’t enough. Now Glasgow can’t beat the Dragons (let alone Saracens or Leinster) and the coach has no qualms saying he’s leaving for Australia but not until summer!!! Get him out now.

      Someone really needs to sort out the show.

  37. Edinburgh look properly coached & confident in the game they are playing. They also seem to have recruited wisely with Wilemse & Haining in particular looking excellent. I think Hickey gets the backs moving better than VDW. Bennett looks to be back fully firing, his tackling & involvement in the breakdown is telling. Crosbie again impressed, I’d have him in the 23 V Ireland if he keeps this up (Bennett too)

    1. Agree with you, John. A lot of the imported signings have proven to be smart business and the team attitude and spirit seem fairly healthy. Back row options are very strong and all played well last night. Good to have two decent options at 10. The back line has improved markedly and Scott and Bennett on form is bringing a real edge to the midfield. Hopefully Bennett can stay on form and injury free and I’d expect him to be involved in the 6N. Crosbie and Ally Miller looking like great prospects.

  38. This is my analysis., rough as it is .

    Last season Glasgow finished with 81 points that is 3.8 per game. This season have taken only 1.25 per game. Glasgow now need to take 4.5 points in the renaming 17 games to hit last season’s 81 points.

    Leinster topping the table have scored 4.75 per game during this RWC. I think we need to set some realistic goals right now to get the morale up.

    The table NEVER lies.

      1. Glasgows first choice is pretty clear to be honest.

        1. Kebble
        2. Brown
        3. Fagerson
        4. Cummings
        5. Gray
        6. Wilson
        7. Gibbins
        8. Fagerson
        9. Price/Horne
        10. Hastings
        11. Matawalu
        12. Johnson
        13. Steyn
        14. DTH
        15. Seymour

        Shows just what we have been missing + a bunch more on bench

        You look at that squad and think what can be improved to take it a european knockout team.

        Front row is good enough (reserves are not) so stronger depth.

        Second row is the same thing, we need a powerful impact player

        Backrow are all good enough individually but collectively they are always going to get bullied by the big boys, We need someone with serious talent/power to be brought in, coaching can only do so much.

        Backline is all good enough to compete at the highest level, we are lacking 1/2 world class players that would be required to win a CC i fear, particularly defensively.

      2. If that is Glasgows best team …and considering Scotland have 2 international test feeder pro teams…Scotland are in trouble.
        Rennie has dismantled what was a Glasgow team filled with a backline that was a backbone for Scotlands attack.
        Seriously.. I mean… a done Seymour and Glenn Price as the main FB?..and no scottish wingers??… an OK midfield …yet with a world class attacking scotland centre benched aging back row…with a young player played as an 8 who should be a 6 or 7.
        Id say Rennie has regressed Glasgow. GT had Glasgow playing with a structure yet was attacking. Rennie??…I dont know what on earth he trying to do. Get rid!…we should interrupt his Aus property hunt …and show him what a P45 looks like.

      3. Think Ashe will prove himself first choice for Glasgow this season. Ashe/Gibbins/Fagerson went well during the champions cup. No idea what the depth is like though – honestly wouldn’t be averse to sending Crosbie and/or Miller down the M8 (on loan) in order to get game time.

        DTH looked done at the world cup sadly. Just doesn’t have the pace anymore.

        Fullback is a real issue. According to wiki (so potentially not that reliable) Glasgow have Glenn Bryce and Ruraidh Jackson as their registered fullbacks with no one from the academy. Seems ridiculous. I’ve heard talk of putting McDowall to 15 but really this seems like poor poor planning from Glasgow.

        Maybe should’ve one a straight swap with Exeter and tried to get Cordero…

  39. Only one coach has ever won a trophy with a Scottish professional team. Gregor Townsend. End of. Only one other coach has taken a Scottish professional team to a final. Dave Rennie. Let’s have some perspective. Both great coaches. We will rue the day either of them leaves.

  40. Scotland need an in form huw Jones rennie has done nothing for jones Glasgow need a coach who can bring him back to his best on form he is one of the best centres in the northern hemisphere

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